Damascus: Syria is holding parliamentary elections across government-controlled areas of the country on Sunday, as President Bashar al-Assad marks 20 years in power amid a continuing war and deep economic woes.
More than 2,000 candidates, including businessmen under recently-imposed United States sanctions, are running in the legislative election – the third since the start of the 2011 protests and ensuing civil war.
The elections, originally scheduled to be held in April, were postponed twice due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Although several lists are running in the polls, real opposition to al-Assad’s Baath Party is absent in the election.
Opposition groups traditionally tolerated by the government are expected to boycott the polls and the Baath Party is guaranteed to monopolise the new parliament as it has done in previous elections.
In the last vote in 2016, the Baath and its allies took 200 of the 250-seat parliament while the remaining posts went to independent candidates.